How to Make a Five-Year Plan for Your Career

One of employers’ favorite questions always seems to be something along the lines of: What are your career goals or where do you see yourself in five years? While it may seem silly to plan that far ahead in an ever-changing career field, their goal is to learn more about your dreams, goals and how that will fit in with their company. It never hurts to put your goals on paper so you know where you are headed in life and what you expect from your future self. It might seem daunting to think that far ahead or to make a concrete plan for the next five years but making a long-term plan for your career can help you make professional decisions easier.

The Next 1,820 Days

It is important to identify exactly where you are on day one. No sugar coating, no excuses, no faking.

  • What is your current job title?
  • Are you happy with your role?
  • Does it realistically provide monetarily for your future dreams?
  • Where do I want to be physically, financially and emotionally in the next five years?

When you answer those questions honestly, you’ll have a grasp on where you want to go.

The Next Actionable Steps

If you are happy in your current company and job but would like to move to a management role or a senior position, your five-year plan might take less time. You might want to consider some training or education to make you a more desirable inside hire. For those who want to drastically change their life, you’ll need to consider education, a location move or even an internship or on-the-job training. All of these steps require action and decisions to be made but are worthwhile if they get you to where you want to be.

The Next Milestone

Start with Day 1,820 in your plan. Where do you want to be? What would make you the happiest? Then work backwards. How will you get there? What will you need to reach that goal? No one runs a marathon without training and the same is true of a career plan. Marathon runners start with very clearly specified mile logs and routines. Your career plan should entail the same small steps on a regular basis to get you to the end result.

Each person and life is different but having goals and plans written out can help you make better decisions. Daily you will have tasks to complete, which can keep you motivated and feel less overwhelmed. Tracking your accomplishments monthly and yearly is a smart way to stay on track and feeling positive about your life. With locations in PortlandClackamasBeavertonEverett, and Vancouver, our skilled recruiters are ready to help you take the next step in your career. If you’re excited for a new challenge, call NW Staffing today.

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